HSD221 – Arabic Rhetoric


  • Introduction to Arabic Rhetoric: Definition, Branches, Subject Matter and Aims
  • Word Order (‘Ilm al-Ma‘ānī)
    • Types of Speech
    • Ellipses and Occurrence (al-Ḥadhf wa al-Dhikr)
    • Definiteness and Indefiniteness (al-Ta‘rīf wa al-Tankīr)
    • Foregrounding and Backgrounding (al-Taqdīm wa Ta’khīr)
    • Restriction (al-Qaṣr)
    • Conjunction and Disjunction (al-Waṣl wa al-Faṣl)
    • Succinctness, Verbosity and Moderation (al-Ijāz, al-Aṭnāb wa al-Musāwāt)
  • Figures of Speech (‘Ilm al-Bayān)
    • Simile (al-Tashbīh)
    • Allegory (al-Majāz)
    • Metonymy (al-Kināyah)
  • Embellishments (‘Ilm al-Badī‘)
    • Semantical Embellishments (al-Muḥāsināt al-Ma‘nawīyyah)
    • Lexical Embellishments (al-Muḥāsināt al-Lafẓīyyah)

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Analyse the linguistic style and features of the Qur’an. (B1, B3)
  • Compile examples of Word Order, Figures of Speech and Embellishments in Arabic. (A1, B3)

This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Formulate advanced language skills to arrive at a deeper understanding of Arabic texts and resources. (B1, B3, C1, C6, D1, D2, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Lectures provide the basic structure of this module. The use of questioning and small group work focused largely on selected verses of the Qur’an and traditions ensures that students are constantly engaged and take an active role in the learning process. Furthermore, students are expected to undertake individual study consisting of set and free reading, and to discuss material presented in class in their mubāḥathah (study circle) sessions to enhance understanding and retention.

Assessment Modes
Students are set bi-weekly formative assignments on Arabic, and receive feedback as they are handed in throughout the year. Although portfolios are done during class, students are required to see the module leader regularly in tutorials to receive formative feedback on their performance and support with their portfolio work. Additionally, revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, continuously strengthening and developing students’ competence in the Arabic language.  Moreover, tutorial time enables the module leader to supported continuously while providing the opportunity for constant engagement with the language, and constructive feedback related to the development of language skills.
Summative, graded assessment is by portfolio and written examination. The portfolio will comprise of two completed exercises about 500 words each on syllabus topics (Outcomes 3). The 2 hour written examination will take place at the end of the semester (Outcomes 1, 2).

Assessment Weighting
Portfolio: 50%
Written examination: 50%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Abdul-Raof, H. (2006). Arabic Rhetoric: A Pragmatic Analysis. Abington: Routledge.
  • Al-Daqiq, M. (2010). Durusun fi al-Balaghah. Qum: Al-Mustafa International Translation and Publication Centre.